Rash Of S.I. Bias Attacks Put Residents On Edge

Alejandro Galindo Sr. is recovering after being brutally beaten by a gang in Staten Island on July 7, 2010. (credit: CBS)

Alejandro Galindo Sr. is recovering after being brutally beaten by a gang in Staten Island on July 7, 2010. (credit: CBS)

STATEN ISLAND (CBS) — The hunt is on for five men who viciously beat and robbed a 31-year-old Mexican immigrant on Staten Island, the latest in a string of suspected bias attacks in the borough.

Now, many residents are asking how it could happen again.

Frustration is building on the streets in Staten Island. Police say that, for the eighth time in Port Richmond since April, a Mexican immigrant was brazenly beaten.

Resident Carlos Andrade said he feels nothing is being done to stop the violence.

“The police, they’re not doing anything,” Andrade said.

“During the night, they do need more cops, more security,” Port Richmond resident Luz Valdez said.

Police say the victim of Mexican descent was walking in front of Faber Park at around 6 p.m. on Friday night when he was jumped by five men. The victim told police his attackers yelled racial slurs as they beat him, before grabbing his backpack and running.

Responding to the rash of violent attacks on Mexicans, representatives from the Mexican Consulate hit the streets of Port Richmond to calm the panic and to give possible undocumented victims a safe haven to report other assaults.

“We have to tell the people to step forward in order to denounce these crimes,” Mario Cuevas, of the Mexican Consulate Counsel of Protection, said. “We cannot tolerate that.”

In recent weeks police have increased patrols and, along with federal and local leaders, they’ve held hate crime forums in the community.

The faces of victims like Alejandro Galindo have been haunting immigrant advocate Reverend Terry Troia. She’s pushing for the return of community policing.

“Police can’t be everywhere,” Rev. Troia said. “We have to be their eyes and ears when they’re not here.”

“Put cameras around, you know? There should be cameras, and check everybody, not just us,” Andrade said.

Community leaders say that by working together, they can finally put an end to the hate crimes.

New York City Councilwoman Debi Rose will meet Tuesday with community leaders to come up with solutions.

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